Tuesday, February 5

Bad Food & Bad PR Go Together: Applebee's Social Media Fail

In case you've been living in a cave for the past week, you've heard about the waitress who was fired from an Applebee's restaurant posting a "no-tip" receipt online. In short:
"A waitress at a St. Louis Applebee's lost her job for posting online the receipt upon which a pastor had declined to leave a tip, with a snarky note saying she gave God 10 percent. 
"After her dinner on Jan. 25, Pastor Alois Bell crossed out the automatic 18 percent tip charged for parties of more than eight. "I give God 10% why do you get 18," she wrote above her signature. 
"Employee Chelsea Welch — a colleague of the stiffed server — took a picture of the receipt and uploaded it to the online site Reddit. She subsequently lost her job, an Applebee's spokesman confirmed to TheSmokingGun.com, for violating a customer's privacy."
Web journalist R.L. Stollar has compiled an amazing, blow-by-blow account of what appears to be nothing less than Applebee's corporate PR department descending into madness:
"...the Internet is laughing. And Applebee’s is losing a lot of customers. After personally reading thousands and thousands of comments, I have seen businesses and non-profits and families and individuals all say they are boycotting or even canceling reservations or changing locations for regular business lunches and dinners. Surely there was a better way to handle this..."
The publicity blunder has been getting massive amounts of attention, and even the self-proclaimed Franchise King had a few things to say on the matter. The Internet usually has a very short memory. If Applebee's would just shut up, things might take care of themselves.